Archive for the ‘ other folks ’ Category

Fear For…

Here’s the vinyl cover I did for post-rock band Fear For Reason!

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This was the original idea I’d had: FFR01

…but we decided it was too American-ish, and we wanted to aim more for the dim muted jewel tones of the UK! Here’s what I produced instead… and as you can see, we went for the second one ^_^

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WicDiv

(Little after the fact, here…) But here’s the cover and some of my fav pages I did for Issue #12 of The Wicked + The Divine, created by Kieron, Jamie & Matt!

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Harrrr, trying to jam a fight into that Inanna star-shape was one of the stupidest most challenging things I have attempted so far, lol. If you read it, I hope you enjoyed it. I know it’s hard switching artists in the middle of something you really adore (I do understand!) and especially if some people weren’t expecting it, perhaps it was a bit of a shock! But yeah. I loved working with this team again. Love dem guys!!!!!!! And I’m terrifically excited for the rest of the Guest Arc. How fantastic was that Tara issue, eh?

New Comics round-up!

(Most of these comics aren’t terribly new — I am just severely late!) Here’s a bunch of stuff I’ve been reading (relatively) recently! I’ve possibly missed off a few things……… um, I’ve not done one of these since last year! I’m sure I’ve read more comics than this… O_o;

MULP
Created by Matt Gibbs and Sara Dunkerton

Okay, this one is new! My gosh it’s so CUTE! I have a thing for mouse-anthro characters after reading the Brambley Hedge books as a kid. This is like Brambley Hedge mixed with Indiana Jones and if that doesn’t interest you I DON’T WANT TO KNOW YOU. I am very excited for the upcoming issues. It’s suitable for most ages, although there is some (very tiny) gun violence.

Mega Robo Bros
Created by Neill Cameron

This one’s fairly new, as it began in the Phoenix in issue #112. This is about cute little robots who are brothers in the FUTURE and how awesome would it be to really be a robot, really, and they’re adopted and oh my, there’s some dark stuff threading through this. OBVIOUSLY I LOVE IT. Here’s hoping it’ll go to book format soon for those unable to get back-issues!

Knight & Dragon
Created by Matt Gibbs, Bevis Musson and Nathan Ashworth

Oh my GOD I love this. The cartooning and the stories both are so fun! Bevis has drawn my favourite cartoon horse EVER. It’s so clever as a comic, too… it’s sort of like those choose-your-own-adventure books, but it’s a frickin’ comic, so. Bonus! Get this.

BREAKS
Created by Emma Vieceli and Malin Ryden

Breaks is your THING TO READ if you like your young leads like I like my coffee: angsty. (Note to self: this metaphor did not work). Emma and Malin are naturally gifted at creating complex and emotional character-lead drama, and here is their first out-there-for-the-enjoyment-of-all project together! And hey guess what now, it’s also FREEEEEEEE. Do you want to Break Free? Do you? (I’M SO PLEASED WITH MYSELF) Emma has set up a Patreon account for those who would like to support its development and a variety of cool perks! Check that here!

The Firelight Isle
Created by Paul Duffield

I expect you may well have checked this baby out already! Here’s Paul’s free-to-read EPIC project of EPICNESS that is also totally all-ages suited! We’re in it for the long and very beautiful game here, with carefully constructed, Ursula Le Guin-esque fantasy. Marvel at the beauty of the page layouts that will lay you out cold because they are so lovely. Squee over Anlil’s freckles, and Sen’s up-coming nipples (spoilers!). As mentioned, this is a long comic, and if you like what you see, consider helping Paul make it a darn sight quicker by becoming his Patreon!

Bye-bye!

Tamsin and the Deep starts today!

What the title said! Here’s our first cover! Me and Neill are super excited to get you all into this story! There’s loads of exciting stuff coming…!

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Click to check out the Phoenix Comic!

Tamsin and the Deep – and updates!

So, the first half of 2013 was probably the best time I’ve had so far during my 7 years freelance. I had a really great few months and did a lot of new things, and learned a lot of new things. I remember sitting in a Hi Sushi with mates just before my birthday last year when things were going well for all of us and we all held hands and were like “LET’S REMEMBER THIS BECAUSE IT CAN BE THIS GOOD”… which I’m going to remember as hard as I can. The second half of 2013 was the worst freelance time I’ve had since 2008. 2013 was truly a beautiful pie with a base of shit.

I’m working full-time again now thanks to lots of supportive people and a very excellent physio, and I am so grateful for this. Work is everything to me. I live to work! Not being able to do so really drove me into a not-so-great place; I got pretty ill on top of the shoulder problems. Combining not-being-able-to-work with “freelance” is pretty scary – obviously you don’t get sick-pay, it’s a risk you have to take when becoming self-employed – and I’m honestly lucky that the first half of 2013 was so great project-and-money-wise, or my shoulder popping off would have ruined me financially, too :( But it’s okay now… I’m through intensive physio, and I’ve got fine-tuning until June/July, by which time it’s going to be as good as it could possibly be. The bones have more-or-less receded back to where they should be (no more surprise humerus!!), and I can do pretty much everything that’s non-intensive! I’m so happy! ^_^/

Enough about my personal life ^^; I’m working on a project with one of my fave creators!!!!!! Me and Neill Cameron have teamed up to make TAMSIN & THE DEEP – a multi-part series for The Phoenix, written by Neill and arted by me! It’s an urban-fantasy/action tale set in CORNWALL (ONE OF MY FAVOURITE PLACES OMG OMG) and our lead is 10-year-old Tamsin “I won’t take no *&%! from this” Thomas. It’s awesome and I can’t wait for people to read it! Here’s our teaser poster…

It starts April 4th. I’m so excited! I’m still learning to work with scripts, so I hope I can really step up my game by learning new things!!!!!! So far, I’ve been focussing a lot on my naturalistic backgrounds, which I’ve always found quite hard to render in line-and-celshade. I hope they’re improving!

I’m also providing colours for Emma Vieceli and Antony Johnston’s ALEX RIDER:SCORPIA adaptation! We’ve set up a development Tumblr for it, here: http://alexridercomic.tumblr.com/ Check in to see how we’re going with it!

And finally, for those who are aware of the new book I am working on, I’m afraid of course this has had to go on the back-burner even more so than it was. I’m *ALMOST* finished with the thumbnail draft, and it’s looking to be just over 300 pages. Obviously, this is not a paid project, and with the mess my shoulder left me in, I absolutely have to prioritise income right now. The fallout from my shoulder is going to roll over most of everything I do for at least another year, I think. All the money I’d saved to work on my book went into rehabilitation ^^; I’m glad I was able to, you know, of course, but it’s been so, so frustrating to lose that time for so many reasons… I did not comprehend the phrase “time is money” until I went freelance. It’s scary.

I can’t remember now how much I’ve written/spoken about it? It’s called “FAITH SAYS YOU”. Here’s a cheery page from it that sets the tone!

Best wishes to all xxx

Princes in the Tower – animation for the Tower of London

(This was written ages ago before my shoulder went pop! Also! Sorry to be unprofessional for a brief moment, but… TL;DR version: if you even vaguely know me, you’ll know that when we got the email for this project, I literally shit all my bones and wondered if I had, in fact, died and gone to heaven.)

At the end of 2012, me, Paul and Emma were contacted by the Tower of London to make an animated short based around Edward V and Richard of York, aka. The Princes in the Tower. It was to be screened in the Bloody Tower, where they have the current display focusing around these two: possibly the Tower’s most notorious prisoners guests prisoners short-stay holiday makers prisoners young people, as part of a drive to increase the modernity of the Tower itself. We needed little introduction to this particular piece of history (*COUGHCOUGHCOUGH*) and met up with Tower staff to discuss the outcome and what they hoped to achieve, and what we could realistically produce. I’d like to take a second here and speak about how freakin’ awesome the Tower staff are. (They are super rad and we feel really lucky to have worked with them!)

For those who are not aware of the figures, here’s some info:

Edward V of England
Richard of York
Richard of Gloucester/Richard III of England
Edward IV of England
Elizabeth Woodville (I went briefly to Elizabeth Woodville Primary School in Leicester!)

Our initial idea involving life-sized, animated shadow-play had proved to be impossible due to the physical restrictions of the Bloody Tower, but we took with us the idea of using strong contrast for the final look of the piece. We also hoped that the use of stark red, black and white would avoid the piece looking very dated/aging too quickly, and also allow the animation to be as clear as possible over the texture of the interior of the Tower’s walls (textured like… well, a medieval wall), and the lighting situation (also medieval). We were not really able to use chunks of text or lots of dialogue as so many visitors to the Tower would not have English as their first language, so, it was up to us to try and make something engaging and informative and atmospheric just through pictures, focusing on the more modern aspect that the Tower is working through, making it creepy, keeping it ambiguous due to historical black holes, and so on, and so forth. It was a challenge, for sure, to make this all under 2 minutes. With that in mind, I wanted to try and aim for a sooooort of music video type thing, and took a lot of inspiration from anime openings/endings. We were also really happy that Ewan Parry was able to work with us on the Sound Design for the piece — we’ve worked with Ewan a few times before for various projects, and we’re good friends, and it’s always nice to work with friends!!!

So, obviously, Paul’s done a fair amount of animation before and is really good at it, whereas I have completely not done any and tried to learn as we went under his watchful eye! ^^; I wrote the story out and bashed out a few rough storyboards, and once everyone was happy with the idea, we moved onto making further rough storyboards, and basically just diving straight into developing the thing. Paul handled the 3D and the compositing, and helped out on the 2D. He used 3D StudioMax and AfterEffects, and I did the 2D in Photoshop.

Here’s the initial design Paul made early on as a basis for our style, when we were compiling our pitch for the Tower:

And here are some more designs I made when I started storyboarding:

It was quite refreshing to literally not have the scope to labour over any aspect of the drawings. I had to learn quickly that in order to achieve anything at all, you gotta just GO GO GO DO NOT STOP DO NOT COLLECT £200 KEEP GOING WHAT ARE YOU DOING DRAWING FINGERNAILS STOP THAT KEEP DRAWING. Despite that, the designs for the boys’ hair was too complex really, and the line-thickness issue continued being a bit of an issue, lol. Well, I learned!

Here’s some storyboards-to-final-frames examples:

Here’s the animatic:

One of the important things we built into the piece was the space and potential to expand a few scenes. The animation itself was quite experimental in terms of its actual use for the Tower, and we want to wait for visitor feedback before thinking of expanding it. I’m really hoping we can! I would love to expand on the bit where the boys are playing, maybe add detail to Richard of Gloucester’s short scene, add dialogue perhaps, add bits to the ending… just add detail to make it feel even more lively, really. We’re hoping it gets good feedback! If you’re around in London during the summer, you should totally pop along to the Tower and check it out! Thanks so much everyone who’s asked about how we’re going with this, and giving encouragement, especially when we weren’t able to say what it actually was we were working on. It meant a lot to us… I really hope anyone who gets the chance to see it, really likes it *^_^*

…and as that’s a bit of a tall order for some people, very kindly, HRP have let us show it on YouTube! Please watch it and enjoy it (and pretend it’s massive and in a medieval Tower)!

Here’s where I need to mention we made a lot of artistic liberties, but we felt we had strong reasons for the majority of these! We are very aware that Richard of York didn’t join Edward until like a month(?) later, after he’d gone to the Tower, but chose to skip over this bit due to a worry of confusing and over-lengthening the plot, and we wanted to focus specifically on the two boys, so that to us, at the time, meant introducing them in the same scene. We skipped over Earl Rivers and Grey’s executions for the same reasons. Apologies for these points. To be frank, there’s such little information about the boys’ stay in the Tower, and it’s often hard to discern what was contemporary source material and what was propaganda.

As a closing note, we had a total blast making this. The Princes in the Tower is one of my personal favourite history subjects/mysteries, and to get to do this was… well, what I wrote in the first paragraph, haha. I think when people get involved in historical fiction it’s easy to get really close to the figures, even if it’s just a tiny thing like making a single illustration, or doing a quick sketch… it brings them to life again suddenly, and brings them through the ages briefly, to exist along with everyone again. I do feel pretty close to these kids by now; it seems like every other year I get to work with them! ^_^ It does make me really sad that we’ll likely never know what happened to the two boys. The speculation about what occurred is fun and all, but at the same time, these were two young children who went missing, almost certainly for political reasons, and that’s really uncomfortable to think about. I do not believe the bones in the Westminster Urn belong to them. I wish we knew more. Every time I draw them or get into a project with them, I worry that I might be cheapening some aspect of their lives and role in history… I hope I’m not.

Emilie’s Turn

OH HI THERE! You came here to read a ballet comic, right? Well, that is super handy, because we got one for you right here:

The nice dudes up at The Phoenix got Emilie’s Turn (written by Neill Cameron, drawn by me) up online for you to read! CLICK HERE! We also spoke at length (well…… actually, I mainly shout (sorry)) to Claire Napier of WWACR about ballet, hot fucking, and motorcycles. And the comic. Shove that on for a listen here (contains swearing, as if you need a warning for that by now) –

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(Forgot to post this!) I got to do the cover for the fourth DJCAD Comics Anthology!!! This was super fun! I was a bit worried I’d made it too cute based on the previous covers, but luckily it was okay, haha! (Actually, I really wanted to do something cute as I’ve been drawing so many serious things recently!!!! Relief, haha!) The brief was just to make sure it was on a white background like the others so text/titles/etc. can be added, and that it had something vaguely to do with drawing/comic creation.

The other pics are of a couple of the previous Anthology covers, and here’s where you can get the other books. Here’s a link to the DJCAD site course info, too!

I got to visit the Dundee comics course last year, and it was really great. Means a lot to me to see these really dedicated tutors setting up comics studies. I’m hoping it continues to go really well for them!!

Comics round-up for June!

The Suitcase, by Dan Berry
Hi! Do you want to read Brit comics? Pick this up. It’s such a fantastic example of our scene! Dan Berry is a tragi-comic genius — at one point I snorted so hard a snot-bubble came out my nose when I was reading it. I think I’d recommend this to anyone, really. I want to buy it for everyone’s birthdays!!!! Also, did you know Dan runs a well-respected podcast called Make it Then Tell Everybody…?

Demeter, by Becky Cloonan
Oh, hell yes. Modern classics. I am really down for nailing a specific atmosphere within comics — giving them a real personality and a proper feeling. Becky’s three self-published titles (Wolves, The Mire, and now Demeter) each create such a specific personality that compliment one another and sit so well together. Wolves is bitter and lonely and empty and swirling; the Mire is vast and still and ancient… Demeter, I found, was fresh, loud, and claustrophobic in its setting — you can hear the sea, and smell the air all the way through. Oh, those layouts. And oh, my god, that ending! YES I LOVE IT. FEEEEEEEL IT.

Papa, written by Vera Greentea with art by Joseph Lacroix, Ben Jelter, Lizzy John.
Woah, woah, woah. Stop what you’re doing. PICK THIS UP. Super-duper short explorations of fable and family. These three stories are so nicely pitched, I either must write an essay about them, or say nothing but encourage you to get hold of Papa like now. (The latter is the probably most beneficial to you). I think the second one is my favourite. What’s yours?

Avalon 2: The Girl and the Unicorn, created by Nunzio de Felippis and Christina Wier with Emma Vieceli, art by Emma Vieceli, tones by Nana Li. (Link to Amazon.co.uk listing — there’s gonna be other ways it’s sold, so, find your most preferred way!)
Lemme tell you a little story. So at the 2D festival in Derry, this young girl of 12 comes up to mine and Emma’s table, and this kid’s quite shy, so Emma begins talking about the books she’s got out on the table. She suggests Avalon’s the book for this little girl — it’s about a young, brave girl called Aeslin who travels to a fantasy world through a book, and has amazing adventures. This little girl’s face like, literally, LIGHTS up, like a proper “8D” face, snaps her head up to her mum to see if they can get the book, and it’s the most beautiful thing. This is her book. She totally comes out of her shell, and engages with Emma to chat a little more about the Avalon series. Honestly warmed my heart right up, and had I been PMTing that day I’m sure I would have broken down and wept. ENCOURAGE CHILDREN TO CONTINUALLY MAKE THESE BRIGHT FACES BY PURCHASING.

Young Avengers

Eeek! I’ve been sitting on my hands about this!!! I was super honoured to join as a guest artist for issue #6 of the super duper new Young Avengers series that Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Team Young Avengers have been making waves with! It’s an awesome series and I really wanted to do a great job by Kieron’s script. I had a HELL of a lot of fun doing this issue, I really enjoyed it! :D I really hope that existing fans will enjoy it too.

If you’re not buying this series already then you should completely just go ahead and dive in! I have a few non-superhero-reading-friends and they have easily jumped in and are totally enjoying it. If you have a comic shop nearby, they will absolutely get it in for you, and if not, then you can buy through an online site such as Comixology or Marvel!

None of the interiors for #6 are out and about yet, but in the meantime, check out this awesome cover Jamie did!!!

Here’s the solicit info:

KIERON GILLEN (W) • KATE BROWN (A) Cover by JAMIE MCKELVIE Wolverine Costume Variant By Mike Del Mundo • Ever wonder what the super hero equivalent of a terrible soul-sucking talent-wasting temp job is? You haven’t? Oh go on. Actually, don’t. We’ve done it for you and written a story about it. This one. • Wonder what Tommy (aka Speed) has been up to? Discover herein. • Wonder why mutant David Alleyne (aka Prodigy) hasn’t been even in the background in any one of the eight thousand X-books? Discover that herein too. • Existential horror turns cosmic horror as something emerges from the shadows of the past. It seems the Young Avengers have yet one more thing to worry about. 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

(Twenty pages was just enough to get really attached to drawing Tommy & David! I miss drawing them already!!)